First Test Points Of Note
* As yet, Mitchell Johnson has not been considered for selection.
* As yet, Steve Smith has not been considered for selection.
* Neither Mitchell Johnson or Steve Smith have been considered for selection at this stage.
* Alastair Cook averages a paltry 19 at Trent Bridge. While that sounds like good news for Australia, in racing parlance, he's due.
* Graeme Swann has just 3 wickets at 65 at Trent Bridge. While that sounds like good news for Australia, in racing parlance, he's due.
* Australia need to bowl like this:
* And this:
THE VERDICT: Pattinson is rightly a lock on opening the bowling and England's recent form against left-armers warrants Starc's selection. The concern with Starc is his lack of ticker when things aren't going our way and a tendency to leak quick runs. Jackson Bird may well turn out to be the closest thing to the great T. Alderman that we'll ever have but it doesn't appear that he'll get a start here. It baffled me how a guy can have such a brilliant start to his Test career, as Bird did, then got put back on the shelf, maybe Mickey Arthur can enlighten us when he pens his memoirs. Anyway, looks as if they'll go for Siddle because of his willingness to bust a gut and bowl long spells. Watson will supply some tight overs and hopefully come through without another injury. Lyon is yet to prove he is up to Test cricket. His wickets come when the team is well placed in a match. The unthreatening nature of his 4th and 5th day bowling is a massive concern given the calibre of batsmen we need to roll twice to win an Ashes Test. He needs to fire when it matters or that will be the end of that. Johnson and Smith are not in considerations at this point, England fans will be bitterly disappointed there.
Batting wise, Australia are thin. Cowan and Hughes have been given a fair go in the last year or so and haven't inspired any trust in fans. I would be playing Khawaja before either of them. Rogers' selection stabilises the top order given his form in English conditions and one has to remember, that while I prefer Watson down the order, his form opening with Katich was solid indeed. In fact, we haven't had any stability at the top since the Kat was stabbed in the back and the selectors/Clarke broke up a perfectly decent opening pair. Clarke is the rock in the batting order but we cannot rely on him to the shocking extent we have in recent times, more contributions are needed. Warner, well I wouldn't pick him for this personally, not until he proves he can go a lengthy period of time without being a total cockspanker.
England have quality with bat and ball, there are some weaknesses there no doubt, but Australia is going to have to play very well to expose those and get a good result here. Given their appalling recent form, it's hard to imagine Boof turning it all around in the space of a couple of weeks, but at least it looks like he's got things going in the right direction. I'm expecting a competitive start to the series, or series', and as for 10-0, you can blow that out your arse England!